Why Nova Scotia?

Why not Nova Scotia might be the better question. It's one of those exotic sounding places that I've never been to and that's reason enough for me. I plan on leaving around the 8th of May and spending several weeks on the ride. Along the way I'll be camping out, visiting unsuspecting friends , and maybe getting to ride along with them for awhile. Let me know if you're up to either!


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good Grief! Izzat a Voltmeter?

OK, so it’s a voltmeter. Not too long ago I tried out a digital instrument gizmo that included a voltage display plus a whole bunch of other cool stuff. The gizmo turned out to be somewhat fragile and definitely not waterproof so it went away, or at least it’s not going with me on this trip. As it happened I became somewhat interested in the status of the bike’s electrical system, particularly when I’m running all the farkle stuff like electric vest, heated grips, etc.

On my way home from my last trip I found myself running in the dark very late at night and in the middle of one of Oregon’s delightful coastal rain storms. The bike was running a bit shaky, the chain was rattling like crazy, the GPS had begun to fade in and out and the headlight was looking dim. Maybe I was going blind? All of this had begun to get really bad somewhere around Hebo and having a voltmeter on board was the deciding factor to start turning all non-essentials off except the headlight. It plainly told me things were going the wrong direction, power-wise.

Once I got home and had time to think about things I knew I wanted to have a reliable voltmeter on the Ninja for my next trip, one that was illuminated and waterproof. Going back into the research mode again I soon found one that other bikers had tried and found to be reliable, including being waterproof. Actually I don’t like to use the term “waterproof” as that sort of suggests you could take it with you on your next scuba diving trip so maybe “water resistant” would be more apropos.

The little unit I bought is British in design albeit most likely made off shore somewhere. Doesn’t matter, it’s nicely made, comes with a cool little rubbery gasket and brass hardware. You have your choice of red or green LED displays and voltage ranges. I ordered it via their web site and it arrived in a couple of weeks. For anyone interested here’s a link to their store: http://www.themeterstore.com/index.asp

The model I ordered is designed to be panel mounted which meant I had to auger out a rectangular hole in the fairing where I wanted it located. This entailed using a drill and my Moto-tool which I dearly love. Final finishing touches were done with a jeweler’s file and the end result was worth the time. I wired it to a switched 12 volt dc source so it’s off when the ignition is off and it has it’s own fuse just in case.

All told I’m very pleased with the meter, now all I need is a thermometer of similar quality… Anyone got any suggestions?

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